booneville defensive gun use
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A resident of Boonville, Missouri, became a hero this week when he detained a convenience store robber at gunpoint until police arrived. What makes this story interesting is that our Good Samaritan, Jim Hayes, didn’t have his gun on him while he was in the store. Nor was it in his car. In fact, the gun was in his home when the stick-up happened.

According to a witness, the robber (Elijah Carter, pictured above) took a knife and hammer from the counter and demanded the cash in the register. That’s when Hayes walked out of the store, got behind the wheel, drove home, got his gun, got back in his car, and returned to the store in time to stop the robbery attempt.

When the police arrived, they found Carter detained at gunpoint.

“There were four other people, women, in the store,” Jim said to reporters. “I figured I got a minute or two to get home and get back and get my gun before he would be able to do anything.”

Jennifer Surrat, whose daughter was working at the store, commented: “We are so glad that someone took the time to pay attention and decided to return and help our daughter out. She was very scared. So thank you once again to the citizen and the BPD for their help getting this taken care of quickly.”

“I guess anybody in my position would have done the same thing. I didn’t do anything special,” Jim added. “I’m just glad I could be there to help and that nobody got hurt.”

So are we, and we’re very glad Hayes had the luxury of time to execute a defensive gun use without the gun being immediately accessible.

Carter is now detained at the Cooper County Detention Center with a $150,000 bail and is being charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon-exhibiting, and receiving stolen property.

Here’s a report via KOMU:

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    • Seriously, help me with this article/incident.

      Once the Samaritan has left this convenience store:
      1) … at what point were the police/911 called?
      2) However admirable the Samaritans actions were, once the Samaritan is/was clear of the store, its internal threat and given the other/remaining victims are not directly under the Samaritans charge/care, how can/would he justify intervening in a matter such as this? I.E. unless he was well equipped on the scene; not leave then subsequently return, with no mention of dialing 911 before returning.

      While it appears to be a legit incident, there is no mention of the Samaritan personally knowing anyone within that victim-zone (convenience store).

      I am not suggesting anyone who intervenes is this way is right/wrong, I am trying to understand the justification to leave and then return …

      Please help me understand (seriously).

      • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Maybe the Samaritan knows this, and didn’t want evil to triumph that day. Maybe he wanted to protect the innocent. Maybe he wanted justice to prevail. Maybe he saw that the cops weren’t there yet, so he took that rainbow-dreadlocked asshole down himself. Like a boss.

      • Just because he left doesn’t mean that the others weren’t still in danger. You have the right to lethal force to protect anyone. It doesn’t have to be yourself or anyone you personally know.

      • If it has to be explained, then no reason to.
        The man performed a public service in an area that is probably partially served by law enforcement.
        Exactly what is your point, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
        You must be a democrat.
        Rather let the bad guys go then cause a scene.

      • The good guy with a gun probably called 911, reported it, and then said “f**k it, police take forever to show up around here, so i’m gonna fix this myself”. Having witnessed people get robbed, shot, etc and the police didn’t come around for minutes or hours… and having just a couple weeks ago i had to stall a wanted man for 24 minutes until the police came, despite having told them ahead of time that he was on his way to my place of work… I have become quite certain that we are our own first responders.
        The regular “first responders” come around when they feel like it to write after-action reports. 911 is a joke in your town

      • I have to agree. With everything lawyers have taught be about self-defense and the law, this case presents huge criminal and civil liabilities as far as I can see.

        I mean, bravo to Mr. Hayes, but man oh man, he’s taking on huge legal risks here.

        • I guess you and I, other than the obvious attorney’s at large, are among the few that saw this very ‘point’.

        • Urban vs Rural strikes again.

          Urban see’s legal liability, Tort risk, possible jail and loss of constitutional rights.

          Rural sees good guy stopped a crime.


        Was that Good Samaritan potentially facing legal sanctions FOR BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN? Sure. Were those potential legal sanctions good and just? Hell no. Some of us are compelled to help our fellow man even if it means we face some level of danger ourselves.

        For reference what happened here is yet another example of a good person — an “average Joe” — making our society a better place IN SPITE OF GOVERNMENT.

      • Some of us believe that the protection and defense of those around us, especially the elderly, children and those who are weaker or disabled is always our responsibility no matter where or when or whatever the circumstance!

      • So if his gun was in his car then the same “logic” applies. If you can’t figure it out, then no amount of explaining it will do you any good.

      • How about this from a retired fed: His actions are allowed in any case where the safety of the individual, or any innocent third party is in peril. It isn’t stated who called the police, so that part is an open question, but to go home pick up his gun and return to help total strangers is both legal and commendable. I get the impression that you would simply run and hide and that is one of the problems in this country right now. Here is a person who takes the initiative to be a true American and live up to true American values and you can’t understand how and why he would do that! I feel very sorry for you and hope that if you should become the victim of one of these incidents that someone is concerned enough to save your life.

      • Maybe he thought the robber might kill the girl attendant.
        Maybe he just wanted to do the right thing. (stop a robbery)
        Not everyone thinks like you.

      • What would you do, run. The good guy was a MAN. He was doing what all MEN should do, protect those that need it. Anonymous, I think you are a gun ban, protect the criminal, snowflake.

      • I’m amazed that someone has to explain this to anyone so I will put this in the simplest of terms. Man sees danger, man solves problem with no one being harmed. Now just what part of it don’t you understand? We weren’t there, don’t live in the area, and don’t really know what was in the mind and heart of Mr. Hayes. But I and all the sane people of the world are very grateful for Mr. Hayes actions.

      • In some states – particularly in MS – what he did was perfectly legal and justifiable, and in fact he could have legally shot the guy dead when he returned.

        Here’s the MS law that pertains:

        SECTION 4. Section 97-3-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

        97-3-15. (1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:

        (a) When committed by public officers, or those acting by their aid and assistance, in obedience to any judgment of a competent court;

        (b) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or to the discharge of any other legal duty;

        (c) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in retaking any felon who has been rescued or has escaped;

        (d) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in arresting any felon fleeing from justice;

        (e) When committed by any person in resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling, in any occupied vehicle, in any place of business, in any place of employment or in the immediate premises thereof in which such person shall be;

        (f) When committed in the lawful defense of one’s own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished;

        (g) When necessarily committed in attempting by lawful ways and means to apprehend any person for any felony committed;

        (h) When necessarily committed in lawfully suppressing any riot or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace .

      • Firstly, there’s every reason for gun owners to question if this good Samaritan acted appropriately in 1) the interests of the threatened employees of the establishment and 2) in his own interests. Dismissing a discussion of this and the poster’s question out of hand because of the fortunate outcome seems inappropriate to me given how high the stakes may have been for the good Samaritan.

        Secondly, self-deploying is NOT recommended by LE in situations like this if there is reasonable access to LE, instead. Let the trained professionals handle the problem if at all possible.

        I live in Texas. Whereas there do appear to be protections in the law for someone who uses a firearm (brandishing in this case) to prevent a felonious act (like the threat of using a hammer to injure or kill someone) and, whereas there are certainly protections for citizens who are themselves threatened with those same or similar acts, leaving the scene of a crime while unarmed to retrieve arms so as to intercede also means that one had the means to relieve oneself of the imminent danger that the felon represented and then chose to reintroduce that danger to oneself deliberately.

        Had the good Samaritan (GS) had to use his weapon (gratefully, he did not) a defense attorney or the DA could have easily made a point of the matter that the GS should have called LE and then stood by, instead of playing Rambo (I use that last term not to disparage the heroic acts of the GS, but rather, to point out that this is the sort of stuff that can happen in a courtroom in situations like this and the opposing attorney would very likely use the term “Rambo”).

        Few of us can afford the legal costs of being a GS, regrettably.

        • How do you know the GS didn’t call LE? Doesn’t say anything about that in the article.
          While he was not in direct risk of harm, others in the store were, so while you are worried about the risk of the financial cost of being a Good Samaritan, what about the intangible cost of knowing that someone else could have been harmed or killed and you could have stopped it? He still used the tools that were available, even if not necessarily readily available.
          It’s so easy to armchair quarterback these situations from the safety of our computers. Here’s what happened, a dangerous situation developed, the man took a risk to leave and return with a firearm, and it worked for him at that time. But at least he DID SOMETHING, rather than run, hide, and rationalize. When someone takes action to try to help, it doesn’t make them the vigilante Rambo-type your so concerned of being portrayed as.

      • The police were called…….doesn’t really matter who did it….over and above that, no one got hurt…quit over analyzing and thinking. That is how people wind up doing nothing.

  1. Now, this is a win-win outcome. Bad guy is in jail facing charges that will send him to the penitentiary. Good guy didn’t get shot by the bad guy or the police and went home with his gun and the gratitude of all (except, probably, the robber). The people of Boonville have their heads in the right place instead of where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • Now, this is a win-win outcome.

      With the exception of the local/state tax payers that have to foot the bill for the actors room and board.

  2. But… wait… .what? The nice people over at Mom’s Demand assured me that guns are only used to kill children and domestic violence victims… they said that guns could never help a situation…

    I’m so confused right now…..


  3. I’d be even more impressed if Mr. Hayes had called the po-po and then stopped at Subway for a tasty sandwich — because there’s always time for a sammy before the cops arrive.

    • If I’m ever in a GFZ getting shot at, maybe I’ll dial 911 first and Jimmy Johns second and see if I can finish my sammich before the cops get there to put me in cuffs for having bacon on my sammich as a hate crime towards mooslums.

    • If he had called 911, and then Jimmy John’s, Jimmy John’s would be there with his sandwich first.

    • “Gray man” criminal mastermind.

      I’m sure it was a simple misunderstanding of the young man requesting a job application and showing he was qualified to use a hammer. Racist white grannys clutching their Starbucks calling the police to make false reports.

  4. I’d like to know if the police and good Samaritan had the same amount of time to “react”. seems odd to me that he could drive home, get out of the car, go inside his home, possibly unlock his firearm, maybe even load it, get back in the car, drive back, and still somehow be the first responder. what does that say about police in general?

    • They said it took 1 minute for police to arrive on scene at the newspaper shooting, and they were stumbling over themselves about how great a response time that was. How did that one minute work out for those 5 people?

      Out where I live a burglary in progress, potential thieves in house, homeowner outside, took 20 minutes to get a response. It would be exceptionally easy depending on how close I live to the store, to beat that time. Assuming you didn’t just have the gun on you. But hey, wait until the accident to buy insurance.

      My sarcastic comment is: see, safe storage laws work! You don’t need it out of the safe!

  5. Ya know the Family Dollar store I was just in had an armed robbery last year. The spanglish thugs SHOT an employee(on camera). He’s OK but I never go there at night…good on this guy! BTW the store I referenced is not “gun free”…😄

  6. Man the DGUs have been running thick on TTAG the last fewdays. May the tide keep coming heavily until those of wicked intent get the message.

  7. Mr. Hayes is also lucky that no police officers came into the store when he was gone. If they had seen him coming into the store with a gun in his hand they might have shot first and asked questions later.

    • A guy was trying to break up a fight and his LEGAL gun fell out of his pocket. When he bent down and picked it up, he was shot and killed by a police officer, who didn’t see the gun fall, but saw him picking it up.

  8. The fact that the good Samaritan may have potentially faced legal risks and consequences for his choice of action is a GLARING INDICTMENT of the FAUX ‘legal system’ we have in America…..NOT of his choice to act for the benefit of his fellow citizens. It’s high time ‘we the people’ started applying tar, feather and rope to the myriad DA’s and LEOs who abuse their positions of power to persecute HONEST citizens who act in self defense.

  9. Re the above described circumstances, what say those who claim that “you don’t need guns, the police are there to protect you”. No doubt, they have something to offer, nonsensical, or far removed from realities though it likely is.

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